Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Artistic Indigestion: Harold Speed 1 - Preface

After Degas - a sketch copy I did a few years ago

"It is no wonder that a period of artistic indigestion is upon us."
--Harold Speed

I'll come back to the quote in a minute.

Do you have any books that you reread on occasion? Harold Speed's The Practice and Science of Drawing is one that I've read a few times before and always come away thinking that I missed a good bit of it.

I saw it mentioned on James Gurney's blog the other day and thought it was about time I revisited it. The book is full of fun quotes, so I though I'd share some of my favorites here on the blog. So, today I'm hopefully beginning a series through Harold Speed's book - not comprehensive or sequential, but regular enough and I'll tag all of the posts with Harold Speed so that you can find them all.

From the preface....

"It is no wonder that a period of artistic indigestion is upon us."
  • That is just a funny sentence.
  • If you substituted " information " for "artistic" you'd have a fabulous summary of the internet age.
  • But he's really talking about how easy it is get access to quality reproductions of art from many different traditions. He wrote that a hundred years ago - all the more in our day.
  • He argues that you need some basic artistic principles to help you navigate the rich and turbulent seas of the art world. Once you learn a few fundamentals you can understand art across culture and time. I certainly know from personal experience that some art takes a bit of studying to truly understand and appreciate. But, that art was worth the effort! :-)

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